Whether the bottle you are giving your baby contains formula milk or breastmilk, bottle feeding is still a big opportunity to bond with your baby. And that’s why responsive feeding is very important.
This includes giving baby the chance to take breaks, to see if baby might be finished with a feed. It’s about reading subtle cues like spraying of the fingers and hands, sucking becoming less rhythmical, slowing down in the suck frequency, more movement and baby generally getting wrigglier.
Reading such cues will help pace a feed (see my info on paced bottle feeding and how it is done). Paced feeding is crucial when it comes to the amounts that baby is taking in. It is most certainly possible to overfeed a bottle-fed baby so making sure you offer the bottle in a paced style (more angled down) to make it harder for baby on the bottle and for baby to naturally indicate breaks is key.
Responsive bottle feeding also includes the emotional aspect of feeding a child. Regardless of how a baby is fed, it’s a time to bond, to cuddle, to be close. It’s a special time, so make it count; sit in that favourite nursing chair or comfy spot on the couch, or sing a lullaby for the time you bottle feed.
Really watch baby. Get to know gentle feeding cues and when it’s time to have a break and let baby indicate if more is needed. Find your own routine and groove with baby.
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